Kidnapping Suspected in Case of Missing Bay Area Man in Mexico

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A Bay Area man has been missing in Mexico since last month and authorities are looking for clues as to his whereabouts.

Lane Gilbert, 46, a real estate developer who had been living near Oaxaca since 1992 missed a meeting with a notary on Aug. 27, and when he did not come home, his partner David Perez notified authorities, the Marin Independent Journal reported. His mother, Jerie has hired a private detective in the search.

Jenny Jedeikin, a spokesperson for Gilbert’s family said kidnapping is suspected in the case because of his position as a real estate developer and the frequency of the crime, although no demand for ransom has materialized yet. However, Gilbert’s car was found after having been in an accident — without Gilbert driving it. Instead, authorities at the scene of the accident said a Mexican man was was driving the vehicle and carrying Gilbert’s identification at the time.

Oaxaca paper El Imparcial said the man was identified as an employee of Gilbert’s, although authorities did not detain or question the man. Undercover officers, the paper said on its website, believe Gilbert may have been executed.

But Jedeikin downplays any suspicion that Gilbert may have been in some type of trouble. “There was nothing that would indicate that something was going on,” she told TIME. “He had been in Marin County just a week before this happened.”

Friends have set up a Facebook page to help in the search. Anyone with information regarding Gilbert’s disappearance can e-mail